Play opens at Hull Truck telling the life of pioneer hometown aviator Amy Johnson


A play telling the story of the pioneer aviator Amy Johnson will open in her home city of Hull tonight.

Amy was the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia more than 80 years ago and 'The Lone Flyer', which is being staged at the Hull Truck Theatre, aims to shed new light on the challenges she faced.

The lead role will be played by Hull native Louise Willoughby, who hopes to showcase the barriers that Amy overcame in her life.

She said: "Obviously I grew up learning about her as everyone from Hull did but I didn't know the extent of her amazing life until rehearsing.

"Everyone knows she flew to Australia and was one of the first female pilots but there was a lot that happened in her life, a lot of challenges, I don't think people did know about."

Amy Johnson's plane. Credit: British Pathe

Amy Johnson died just a decade after completing her flight to Australia when the RAF plane she was flying crashed into the Thames during the Second World War.

Her legacy has become more visible in the city in recent years with a replica of her plane being installed during the City of Culture year in 2017 and a second statue of her being built.

Lucy Betts, the director of the play, said she was pleased to bring the play to Hull after a tough 18 months for live theatre.

She said: "This has never been told in Hull before and Amy Johnson's such a Hull girl. Walking around you see the statues, the moths, there's such a local pride in her and her story so it feels incredibly special to be in her hometown."

The statue of Amy Johnson on the housing estate in Hull that bears her name. Credit: ITV News

Benedict Slater, who is the only other actor in the play, said: "We take you through her whole life and the people she meets.

"She wasn't just determined as a pilot but being determined to be the first woman to do things and challenge gender roles not just in the aviation aspect."

There will be shows scheduled until the end of the month, with some performances being listed as socially distant crowds.